Groundwater Program


The Water Quality Control Commission addresses Colorado’s standards for groundwater in:
  1. Regulation 41: The Basic Standards for Groundwater.
  2. Regulation 42: Site-Specific Water Quality Classification and Standards for Groundwater.
The Water Quality Control Division regulates the discharge of pollutants into the state's surface and groundwater under the provisions of the Colorado Water Quality Control Act of 1974. The protection and maintenance of water quality is achieved by issuing permits specifying the types and amounts of pollutants that may be discharged without violating the state water quality standards.
 
Other implementing agencies
Agricultural Chemicals and Groundwater Protection Program 
 
Colorado Department of Agriculture 
The Agricultural Chemicals and Groundwater Protection Program is a collaborative program between the Department of Agriculture, Colorado State University Extension and the Water Quality Control Division. The Department of Agriculture is the lead agency in the program. The program's purpose is to reduce agricultural chemicals’ negative impacts on groundwater and the environment. Agricultural chemicals covered under this legislation include commercial fertilizers and all pesticides.
The program’s monitoring program has prioritized its sampling in basins where agriculture predominates and rural homes use groundwater. The groundwater quality data can be found through the program’s website.
 
The Division of Oil and Public Safety (OPS) has groundwater quality responsibilities under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Subtitle I of 1976 as amended. OPS regulates the assessment and remediation of petroleum releases at groundwater-contaminated sites within Colorado.
 
The Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety (DRMS) is responsible for mineral and energy development, policy, regulation and planning under the Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Act and the Colorado Land Reclamation Act for the Extraction of Construction Materials. DRMS implements the Water Quality Control Commission’s groundwater standards in permitted mining activities in the state.
 
The Division of Water Resources (DWR), also known as the Office of the State Engineer, administers water rights, issues water well permits, represents Colorado in interstate water compact proceedings, monitors streamflow and water use, approves construction and repair of dams and performs dam safety inspections, issues licenses for well drillers and assures the safe and proper construction of water wells, and maintains numerous databases of Colorado water information.
 
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) is an implementing agency for groundwater quality standards and classifications adopted by the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) for groundwater protection.

The COGCC issues permits for the drilling and operation of oil and gas wells, regulates production pit construction and operation, and enforces rules and regulations for the spacing of wells, wellbore construction and well site reclamation. Rules for the abandonment of wells and for the treatment and disposal of oil and gas production waste are also enforced. COGCC rules implement the statutory charge to prevent significant environmental impacts to air, water, soil or biological resources caused by oil and gas operations.
 
The Hazardous MateriaIs and Waste Management Division (MMWMD) is responsible for administering the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and related programs. The division regulates solid waste management, treatment and disposal facilities, and hazardous waste generation, storage, transportation, treatment and disposal. The division assists in the cleanup of hazardous waste sites, including CERCLA/Superfund sites and uranium mill tailings. Other programs include participation in "brownfields" redevelopment through implementation of the Voluntary Cleanup and Redevelopment Act, and cleanup assistance within the solid waste and hazardous waste programs, both federal and non-federal.